Wrath of the Titans

wrathofthetitans (3)

✠ It was in 2010 that my favourite movie based on Greek mythology released, in the form of Clash of the Titans – but I have to admit that I haven’t watched many movies based on that mythology. The 2011 version, Immortals was strictly okay. Even as my love for Greek mythology goes as far as my childhood with such stories easily available in a local version in the nearby library, the love was extended to something better in the first half of the 2000s with that city building game called Zeus: Master of Olympus. Despite the similar games Pharaoh and Caesar III, this was the game which stole my time, and the fact that it was based on the mythology helped, just like in the case of Age of Mythology. Wrath of the Titans is that sequel which falls somewhat behind from its predecessor, and has not many things to boast about. Otherwise, it could have come up with an extraordinary box-office performance, that is for sure.

Count Dracula: You had to watch that? I heard that the gods die in the movie. I couldn’t stand that after watching Immortals. They call themselves immortals and they die, isn’t it the same case with Wrath of the Titans? I guess I am the true immortal of this world, and about the other dimensions, I shall speak not.

Vampire Bat: Immortality is losing soil right from underneath its feet. The main culprit is the use or rather the abuse of vampire mythology in the works like Twilight. The ridiculous glorification of immortality has lead to at least some people having a certain feeling against it, and it seems that Immortals and Wrath of the Titans have tried to hold onto that aversion towards immortality by killing those gods who were supposed to be immortals. Now the gods die and random pale teenagers with bad teeth lives forever with strange pacts, ideas and a love story which should qualify as the wonder blunder of the world.

Count Dracula: I am glad that you didn’t call them vampires. Yes, they are blood suckers and not vampires. They belong to a breed of mosquitoes. They are also indirectly killing not only the vampire franchise, but also many others, and the Greek mythology is also one of them. I won’t even talk about the other group walking on four legs. It is beyond hope, but still what is it in Wrath of the Titans?

Vampire Bat: This movie’s incidents happen many years after the events of the first movie, as the gods keeping on losing power and they almost lose control over the imprisoned Titans until Ares and Hades turns against the other gods and make the process complete. Zeus is captured and kept a prisoner as Kronos slowly awakes and Poseidon dies. The other gods are not even in the fight, as Hephaestus is the only one who is there to show himself. If you are looking for gods, you better play the game Zeus: Master of Olympus.

Count Dracula: I have never seen that horrible gods as those in Immortals. In that movie, when it was known that Luke Evans was Zeus, I thought that he was just a crazy guy who lived in one of those caves. I would rather not see them if I have to witness them like that. I would still miss Aphrodite though. They could have also had Athena and Artemis, as the only divine creature I liked in Immortals was Isabel Lucas’ Athena. I wondered how it would have been if Freida Pinto played an immortal.

Vampire Bat: We don’t even get to see Gemma Arterton, as her character is declared dead. Alexa Davalos is also missing, as Rosamund Pike becomes Andromeda, something which doesn’t seem to fit as a whole. Sienna Miller or Rachel Nichols might have been a better choice as this time the lady is more of a warrior princess rather than the damsel in distress. My imagination of Andromeda is completely destroyed by this movie.

Count Dracula: Well, if you consider the destruction of the images in my mind caused by Immortals, there will be too long a list. They are all trying to deviate from the mythology that we have read. Even Percy Jackson was closer to mythology than the so called mythological movies. Why would you even watch a movie based on mythology after such a setback?

Vampire Bat: The special effects are excellent, and what it misses out on the story, it tries to make up with the graphics and the action sequences. May be some of our literature postgraduates can come up with a better story than this one which has quite a useless Zeus and Poseidon, a more wasted Hephaestus and a strange Ares along with a Hades with clear psychological problems making it almost impossible for him to do the right thing or even the wrong thing. Perseus and Andromeda doesn’t even seem to belong to the world. It is still that visual extravaganza that you can watch on the big screen.

Count Dracula: It has Sam Worthington as Perseus, and that should be its best advantage. One can guess that without even going near that movie. Whenever he is there, one can feel that there will be something there to look out for. I am not an Avatar fan, but if someone can save a movie with his presence even without many people of a land knowing the name of the actor, it is him.

Vampire Bat: Yes, he does save the movie just like Perseus saves the world. Rosamund Pike also does the same, not as Andromeda, but more as a warrior princess or a fighter queen who has come to aid whoever tries to save humanity. Ralph Fiennes and Liam Neeson are given what might be their worst characters ever, and why would they need these two to play those characters is so strange. May be as the characters are like that, these two were needed to make it any good. This is such a shame that monsters of this movie saves the day for the viewers while the gods ruin the same – the exact opposite of what happens in the movie.

Count Dracula: I would rather like the movie for being what might be the last movie based on Greek mythology for a very long time. Everyone needs a dose of Greek mythology, not considering Percy Jackson which is a different take. The love for monsters is a thing of this age. This is an age of no faith, and people tend to like monsters more than gods and pretend that they don’t believe in both. Trust me when I say this from my experience – it is not in human nature to be good, and without civilization, they are nothing. It is the beliefs and the faith in God that keeps them good, and the bad are only those who deviate from faith.

Vampire Bat: I agree, as there is no pillar for faith in this age. I have to struggle with my set of beliefs very often because there is always an attempt to brainwash people into believing that there is no God, and there is no evil. People are denied the chance to live in faith, and we are glad to be part of a nation which has more faith in the supreme power than any other. The weakening of the gods with the loss of faith of humans is a parallel to the recession and the financial problems which Europe and America have faced due to the loss of faith, and the nations with faith are improving. Without faith, you are nothing – even Zeus was nothing.

Count Dracula: Exactly my thoughts. I am a man who has seen almost all wars which you have studied about. None of those wars were actually religious wars. There were just people who lost faith in God and went for material achievements. They never conquered anything for God. They did it for themselves and to enjoy their life on Earth. I have seen into their mind and they had only “Carpe Diem” in their mind. Most of them didn’t really believe in me, and it is such a shame. I lose my confidence when they loss faith in me. Then I can only transform into a little toothless black cat!

Vampire Bat: That comparison is one of those things which I could find. Hades is more like the devil, feeding from the fears of man, but he is also that fallen angel whom Milton told us about. We would love to see such a movie being made based on Paradise Lost, and the fact that the Bradley Cooper’s portrayal of Lucifer will no longer happen is such a shame. The movie could have taken the movie experience to greater heights, something which Noah might succeed in a limited manner. But nothing like angels and demons fighting a war and their leader delivering those speeches. Not even Kraken, Chimera, Cyclops, Minotaur and Kronos together could have stood a chance.

Count Dracula: They can rather develop an original mythology based on my life. Yes, I have fought my battles and my tale has one of the best stories ever, which can be developed into a mythology. I know you would still rate this high enough, and I might also do the same, even with that knowledge that this is an unwanted sequel.

Vampire Bat: Yes, it shall get a 70/100 for its special effects, 3D, the leading actor, use of whatever mythology they can, the action sequences, the monsters and bringing a different idea on gods and ending the franchise for good. That will be good?

Count Dracula: Yes, I think it is. Well, it is time for me to go to the Goblin Market and sharpen my fangs. Good bye, my brother in fangs.

Vampire Bat (to himself): Wrath of the Titans is a lot like its predecessor and it has only a few new things. If this movie was the first of the franchise, the whole thing could have been better, and as a stand-alone version, this scores better. There is a lot of monster stuff for the fans of Greek mythology stories, but that hasn’t really helped, and that much we can easily figure out from the way the responses have been.

Wrath of the Titans will not improve your impression about movies based on mythology, and it won’t make you better with greater knowledge of Greek mythology. Don’t consider it your spark-notes, but watch it for the visual treat that it has to offer with special effects and action sequences. Also, look out for the labyrinth. Lets hope for Hercules: The Thracian Wars to be great, even as it is more of a comic based adventure rather than having a strong base in Greek mythology. We might need a lot more than just a random mythological story to come up with a perfect demigod story. There is the need for a lot more, and the lack of popularity of Wrath of the Titans is no real surprise. For now, we can adjust with this movie, and compared to Immortals, this is a much better choice, and scores as being among the best of its kind (mostly due to not many movies of the kind being released).

Release date: 30th March 2012
Running time: 99 minutes
Directed by: Jonathan Liebesman
Starring: Sam Worthington, Rosamund Pike, Ralph Fiennes, Liam Neeson, Bill Nighy, Édgar Ramírez, Toby Kebbell, Danny Huston

wrathoftitans copy

@ Cemetery Watch
✠The Vampire Bat.

Prometheus

prometheus (2)

Enter the most significant flashback to 2012, and welcome Prometheus, the Greek titan who is credited with stealing the fire and giving into humans. The punishment of Prometheus for this generous act is the most significant and the most interesting part of his tale, and it is a major part of ancient as well as modern works of literature and art. He was immortal and thus open to eternal torture, an opportunity which someone like Zeus was not supposed to miss, as he was tied to a rock, and each day an eagle would test its beak on his liver and eats them, which would then grow back to be eaten again the next day. Prometheus is said to be freed at last by the strongest of the Greek heroes, Heracles a.k.a Hercules. So how does Prometheus fit in this movie? Well, he is the symbol of human quest for knowledge, and also that of the risk of unintended consequences. The Modern Prometheus was used as the subtitle by Mary Shelley for her 1818 Gothic horror novel Frankenstein with its hero attempting something which was not supposed to be done according to the divine will, thus creating life which is not just abominable, but too strong for him to end. Christopher Marlowe’s The Tragical History of the Life and Death of Doctor Faustus can take it better, as Doctor Faustus crossed the limits himself, and paid for it with a lovely, intellectually superior soul for dinner in the inferno that night as Mephistopheles, Lucifer and Belzebub are concerned.

The movie does the same, it is the story of a search to another world in a ship was rightly named Prometheus, even as I think the name Icarus would have also done good, considering the fact that they are going after a thing which could burn themselves as well as their world. You can have your own wings of fire, but they will eventually burn out – Icarus could at least drink water before he died, but for the seekers for something bigger than sun, one can’t be so sure. The biggest advantage of the movie is that it raises questions about the origin of human life and doesn’t provide the viewers with answers, making them use their brains as well as wait for a possible sequel with all the answers. There are also times when one should stop searching for answers and logical explanations for everything, as there are things for which there is no suitable explanations, for the world was not built on science, and controlling life and nature is just a distant impossible dream. Therefore, those who watch the movie will have to understand the mystery and accept the fact that it has to remain the same. There are things that you shouldn’t and couldn’t understand. The other group of people who oppose this movie are the trolls of the worst kind, who are always looking for attention, pretending that they know everything with their off-topic nonsense.

Another thing about the mystery is that if you do understand what you are not supposed to understand with the help of stupid logical explanations, there would be disasters, and you would end up being nothing more than another Greek mythological figure, Sisyphus who was forced to roll a huge boulder up a hill, only to see it roll back down, and to repeat this action forever – no you won’t get to be Naranath Bhranthan, as he was divine and intellectual, and you will be termed fools. He pretended to be mad, but in your case, there might be no need to pretend as long as you keep seeking things that you shouldn’t. You can keep searching for something which is not supposed be found and shall never be found, therefore initiate a meaningless action similar to that of our Sisyphus. Why should one create such a cruel situation for oneself in a world which is complete in itself unless human beings won’t interfere with the progress of natural life with too much science and technology? Wonder why the so called rational minds are so proud and prejudiced that they can’t accept what they can’t understand; unfortunately, that well has the devil prepared his webs of sin and lies. Just see how much destruction man has brought upon the planet by seeking the wrong things rather than God. Lets learn from it, and stop searching for the wrong answers and cease asking the wrong questions.

As a spaceship is seen to depart from a world similar to Earth during an unspecified time period, and a humanoid alien drinks a vial, then starts to disintegrate and then fall into the waterfalls under his feet and his remains would seem to create some biological transformation on the world. In 2089, Peter Weyland, the CEO of Weyland Corporation, funds an expedition to a distant moon LV-223 on the spaceship Prometheus on a mission to find the creatures who predated humanity, calling them the Engineers. The Prometheus lands on the moon near a large artificial structure. The place looked good enough to live, as if someone already lived there, or someone was supposed to. During an exploration, they find a huge number stone cylinders which are arranged in an orderly manner, a large and a monolithic statue of a humanoid head reminding of the large stone-heads of the Easter Island of Chile. From a corpse of a large alien, a head is taken which is later found to be similar to that of humans in the DNA. There would be questions to be asked and some of the answers would come at a price, including th total annihilation of the human race on Earth. The only thing which is predictable is the presence of alien life forms which would attack humans, and even form a parasite-provider relationship with them if possible; something which will end in the same mode as the original Alien movie.

Noomi Rapace plays the protagonist, Elizabeth Shaw, an archaeologist, and a firm believer in God who keeps the crucifix close to her heart and the mind. No, she was never like Alien franchise’s own alien destroyer, Ellen Ripley. This one is a more believable character for sure, and there can still be questions about her being another Ripley as the series get a second part. She had faith and it kept her making the right decisions, and also helped her in being the one sensible person out there. She has kept her beliefs in that time of turmoil, and what kept her strong is that symbol of faith which she carried. In a society which was so advanced, and might have surely persuaded her to leave it by hook or by crook, she held on to it like any righteous person would do. It is her faith that makes her the true protagonist, and considering the person she is portrayed to be, the lack of it would have ended whatever was good in her, just like it can be seen in the other characters. She survives the alien creature coming out of her stomach, and also the death of her lover; she even stops the alien life forms from destroying Earth, something which was made possible by her faith and belief, which the other lacked. She searches her own God even when looking for the so called superior creatures; she is a noble soul and the heroic character, a lady knight for the mankind against the aliens, a title which she might truly gain by the end of the franchise.

Charlize Theron as Meredith Vickers has another villain-like role for her after her evil queen in the worst movie of 2012, Snow White and the Huntsman, in which she was the fairest of them all, and Kristen Stewart who played Snow White looked pale and useless. She is still not that evil this time, as she is just trying to take control all the time, and remain the lady in command throughout the mission. There might still be questions about her being real human, with her decisions which is without emotions, these doubts only proven wrong when she comes out drop-dead-gorgeous out of that tube like chamber in which she was cryogenically frozen in a hyper-sleep and then again when she tries to save herself, something which a machine would have cared about less. She looks incredibly beautiful throughout the movie, and still working her character to its strong, selfish motives. To be frank, she was rather good in some of her decisions, and I would be deeply saddened to say that they have killed off the character with a spaceship on her head – still there is a little hope in the second part, as she could have fallen into some pit when the spaceship crashed on her; well, they brought back significant characters in Fast & Furious 6 and G.I.Joe: Retaliation from the dead, and so it is there for giving a chance.

Michael Fassbender scores as David, the android robot whose action leads to the death of Elizabeth Shaw’s lover as well as her impregnation with the alien. He works for Peter Weyland (Guy Pearce), and both act together in their logical need for immortality for the boss. Along with great performances from the case, the movie continues to score with its mind-blowing CGI and the 3D which can be termed optional. There is nothing about Prometheus that a sensible person can hate, and when the movie takes unexpected turns and take to a least expected universe, learn to live with that, because it is for the good. It is evident from the fact that sensible critics did give the movie a good rating. James Cameron, the director of Aliens, has said that the movie is great. There might be a few people who think otherwise, and their problem should be the inability to take in the awesomeness, and this one was clearly out of their comprehension, as they gave away all their imagination and creativity to the demon of logic. Prometheus doesn’t wander around people like you, slaves of logic, it is for the people who dare to create their world and live in it without going with the modern barbarians looking for nonsense logic and talk bad about everything which remains beyond their tiny brains. These people can stop playing dogs and asking for bones. Prometheus is a brilliant start to something new, and if it was released before Alien, it would have been the top grosser of the year or even the decade.

Release date: 8th June 2012
Running time: 124 minutes
Directed by: Ridley Scott
Starring: Noomi Rapace, Charlize Theron, Michael Fassbender, Guy Pearce, Idris Elba, Logan Marshall-Green

prometheus copy

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Oblivion

obli

It was about six or seven years ago, that the Vampire Bat landed on a game, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, and he landed on his broken tooth which made him as addicted to it, as Count Dracula is to his coffin. This sequel to The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind and the predecessor of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim had shocked him in a good way, like no other game had before, and his wish was to write a review on it, giving it 100/100 along with Mass Effect, for providing him with that world, his second life where he actually lived, died, resurrected and got beheaded/shot on the head – well, he loved these two games so much that he finished it, as he wanted to that right from the beginning with no rest. For years, the Vampire Bat wished for the movie adaptations of these two, especially of the first one which was his mythical/fantasy world of chivalry compared to the inter-star battles and interactions of the second. But he has been disappointed for long, and here what he get is a movie of the same name as the Oblivion game, with a setting similar to the Mass Effect game. No, the movie doesn’t resemble both of these in story or theme; but this coming together of the elements of these two games is what came to the mind of this nocturnal soul when the first time he saw the movie poster, and he wouldn’t have dared not to share it.

The awesomeness of these two games are clearly visible in this movie though, but not in a way which has similarities. In those games, we could travel anywhere, but coming into the movie, it is a limited world which follows an alien invasion which nearly destroyed the Earth. After the devastation of moon which caused horrible natural disasters including earthquakes, tsunamis and terrible climatic variations. The land is left uninhabitable with the mankind being transported to their new habitat. Former Marine commander Jack Harper (Tom Cruise) is a drone mechanic who repairs flying machines with advanced weaponry used for defence against alien lifeforms, and is also one of the last few humans stationed on the dying planet with his co-worker Victoria (Andrea Riseborough) living in a baseless tower-like structure thousands of feet above the Earth, but she is still no Rapunzel, and neither is he her prince or adventurer, something which shall be revealed later. Most of their memories are erased, and the knowledge about their past stays locked at the moment. For now, their relationship would seem to reveal that they are in love and might have been even married.

They are part of an operation to clean up the remaining forces of the alien invasion who are referred to as scavengers and also extract the planet’s remaining resources and are due to join the rest of humanity on Saturn’s moon Titan. Jack and Victoria maintain contact with civilization through a video link with their commander, whom they recognize as Sally (Melissa Leo) who is their symbol of hope and salvation, an escape from a world which is almost a wasteland and surrounded by radio active areas. Jack suffers from dreams which are more like flashbacks, having images of New York before the alien invasion and an unknown beautiful woman (Olga Kurylenko). Meanwhile, Jack rescues an unknown woman from a crashed spaceship as she was encased in a sleeping capsule, in a state of hibernation/hypersleep, and she turns out as the woman from his dreams. But they are captured by a group of humans led by Malcolm Beech (Morgan Freeman) who reveals to him that there are no aliens on the planet and it is the humans who are hunted by the drones. He requests Jack to reprogram one of the captured drones. But Jack refuses. Malcolm then tells Jack to visit the radio active areas which are restricted to him, and there all his doubts will be cleared.

With a spoiler alert, this paragraph shall proceed. It is revealed that the mystery woman is Jack’s wife, Julia who was with Jack and Victoria when they approached the alien ship, before Jack sending her and the other crew of the ship who are in hypersleep, into the space by detaching the backside of the ship, keeping them away from the aliens. Later it is found out that Jack and Victoria are cloned and there is a large number of clones of both, and they were not born, but grown – a reminder of The Matrix and The Daybreakers, I guess. Their supposed to be passionate relationship is also a product of these alien method of growth and one photo of them together. The alien shown here is more of a super computer, may be sent by the possible original aliens, masters of technology. This monolithic structure is clearly logical in its talks and even uses the images known to the originals of the clones so that they could be made to believe and obey. It creates a little dystopia to the group of two, or the groups of two to be exact. They are actually oppressed and are made to fight against their own race by naming them scavenger aliens. But, thanks to the imperfection of the humans, the imperfect cloning technology of the aliens and also a possible divine providence, Jack becomes somewhat the original again and leads the fight against his former employers. The solution would surely be much better than using a computer virus in Independence Day style.

The mystery starts and ends with Tom Cruise’s Jack – may be brings something from Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Total Recall. We have had so many Jacks, from Jack Reacher to Jack the Giant Slayer, Jack Frost, Jack Sparrow, Jack and Jill etc. Here, this one is more of a thinker and a lover of nature, which makes Thomas Babington Macaulay’s Lays of Ancient Rome catch his attention, and he has quite a good collection of books including Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities, which he has kept in a small house in the middle of greenery unaffected by the destruction that has gone around for years. He is no parrot and this poetic imagination and love for literature makes him different, and may be he evolved thus after his cloning and erasing of memory. How can one not remember what happened in the movie The Island? Such a thing is perfectly applicable to an alien technology. Well, there is no limit for fiction, and if too many limits are placed, it would lose its right to be called fiction. It would become closer to reality, which would still spawn the question, who’s reality? Now that would be something better left untouched. This is another one of Tom Cruise’s memorable characters for sure, even as he may not be the perfect protagonist, and even if he may be many, numbering in millions. He seems to have fitted into the character with ease.

Jack’s should be existential. He should have been that confused in that wasteland, and also when he had realized that he was just a clone or a copy of someone else. There was that redundant identity crisis and those dreams which seemed to perpetuate nothing. His life gets more and more absurd every time he tries to get answers, as all the answers lead to him finally being a random copy. He had waited for salvation, the firmament which awaited him in the moon of Saturn, but that too is crushed. Now what would remain for him to end as a nihilist, but he has the last fight on his list, as he decides to help the human rebels, and in that process, even sacrifice himself. It is through that loss of life, that the Earth could be redeemed. But who needs an alien invasion to destroy the planet, and considering what is done to it, who might be the aliens? Some are alien to the planet and also to their fellow human beings, and in that case, aren’t these aliens with a powerful inverted pyramid computer better as they keep the human race alive? There is the oppression factor, but is that so much of an oppression considering what humans have done to their own kind for centuries and still continue to do the same in a worse manner even while calling themselves modern and technologically advanced?

Morgan Freeman is as solid as ever, and the two women, Olga Kurylenko and Andrea Riseborough goes through their sequences as the characters themselves. The former is the emotional lover and the latter the passionate lover. Still, their roles are limited despite the screen presence. Another thing is that the CGI and the special effects out-did the beautiful women. As Jack “wandered lonely as a cloud that floats on high o’er vales and hills” in his mosquito-like helicopter (like that futuristic helicopter they called Raptor in Unreal Tournament 2004), the visually stunning world is brought to light. There is destruction clearly visible, and the signs of the civilization included destroyed buildings, ships and bridges half submerged in sand, never-ceasing smoke from some areas and so on. There are gaps leading to somewhat an abyss between a group of buildings held together by soil or may be in their own centre – a path to Hades and Persephone, half-destroyed structures which look like different things all together, as well as whatever is underground and underwater. To add to it, there is the beautiful area of nature with the small house. Oblivion is an experience, and a lesson to mankind, as well as a reminder of the power of art and literature – rooted on that creativity which is more important than logic, for science can win brutal battles, but to win the war, you need art and literature, as they heal the soul better and people need their wounds to heal and their scars to fade after a major disaster.

Release date: 13th April 2013
Running time: 124 minutes
Directed by: Joseph Kosinski
Starring: Tom Cruise, Olga Kurylenko, Andrea Riseborough, Morgan Freeman, Melissa Leo, Zoë Bell, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau

oblivion copy

@ Cemetery Watch
✠The Vampire Bat.